G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrom) is a powerful mental ilness, very familiar to photographers, audiophiles, and all technology gadget collectors known as geeks all over the world.
G.A.S. impacts folks involved in any area of interest where technology moves on quick, and new products are released at an ever fastening pace, leaving the poor hobbyist always longing for tomorrow’s new toy, even when they *just* acquire the latest en greatest, that immediately became yesterday’s news.
I’ve been a victim of G.A.S. for years, therefore knows the beast well, and can sometimes outsmarts it, and defeat it. Since camera makers are so prompt to top each other’s hottest offering with something else, a very cool strategy with G.A.S. is to outwait it. Tell yourself you WILL treat yourself to the new model that you drool over, BUT in xxx weeks, months, whatever. Give yourself a time frame. If you set to wait long enough (the first days/weeks are the hardest part), chances are 1) you’ll get tired of waiting and as the novelty wears off, your desire will dwindle, and 2) sure enough another manufacturer will release something else that might be even way more appealing and exciting than the first model you wanted. If you stick to the tactic, it works.
I like to buy my gear used, and usually once an update has been released, or at least announced, which gives time to the manufacturer to produce and sell enough units to update firmware, and work out any potential glitch there might be at release, and to prices to drop, sometimes in dramatic ways. I almost always buy very recent, just pre-owned stuff, with all original boxes and accessories, and still under warranty, with invoice to boot. It’s like buying from the store, except I usually save a LOT of money off the store price this way. Believe me, I’ve done it countless times and it never failed me. I don’t see any joy in paying full retail, but I do get an enormous kick out of having the exact same camera you just got with a discount sometimes up to 30%
My last camera is an exception, as I purchased it new. It was a love at first sight affair and since it had just been released (and was just getting in stock) the best I could do was chase the cheapest price (which I did, and got) and pull the trigger.
After using and loving the GX-1 for 5 months I figured I’d need a similar body with built-in viewfinder to manually focus older lenses (I do have an external EVF for the GX-1 but can’t use it at the same time as I use my external flash), so I grabbed a well priced and immaculate G3 :
The G3 is a solid performer that delivers exactly what I expected from it, but I didn’t bond with its aesthetics, and it’s back on the market. However, there is a little guy that I have my brains all heated about
Ok, I want one. BAD. Bad enough that I spent most of last evening scouting ad sites to find a great deal… and found it. After a little (read, rabid) bargaining with the seller, we agreed on a price, and I proceded to pay via Paypal, which I didn’t think would generate any vendor see since I was funding from my bank account. Long story short, the seller writes back that the payment did get there, but there was a hefty amount taken off by Paypal. By then buyer’s remorse had started to kick in, and I was questioning my purchase. Wrote the girl back, and told her to cancel payment, which she did, immediately. Then went to pick up my mail, and had a letter from the I.R.S., which charged me basically for a little over the price of the NEX camera+ lens combo. DAMN.
Next thing seller writes back asking now what ? Now, sell it to someone who doesn’t have unexpected mail from the I.R.S., that’s what 😦 So here I am, ready to wire our administration the price of a brand new Sony NEX5N kit. Maybe I should thank them for that ? Photokina is just around the corner, and Sony’s gonna announce a NEX6 that I’ll want even more (but that will drive 5N prices down, you lose one way, you win the other).
Ah, G.A.S. …